The European Union is aiming to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050.

The world’s third-largest economy wants to cut its emissions 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, with radical rethinking of its energy, food and transport systems. ‘Europe’s man on the moon moment’, accroding to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

At least, that is the proposal. And at this stage, it is just that – a proposal. Not a deal or a detailed plan.

Much of the plan have yet to be passed into law, and a sizeable proportion of the member states will need convincing that the eye-watering sums of money discussed will be worth it during times of economic struggle. The Commission has said the plan will require around €1 trillion ($1.05 trillion) in sustainable investments.

What’s more, the targets already agreed upon aren’t actually binding. Thierry Breton, the Commissioner for the Internal Market, suggested that a recently agreed-upon law to phase out fossil fuel cars by 2035 could even be delayed if it proves unrealistic, potentially adding vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

The political negotiations will be intense and it will likely be years before anything concrete is signed. Poorer nations and those governments on the right of the political spectrum may be looking to water down the measures, but at least there is a vision.

But if – and it is a big if – it does succeed, this is what a greener future for Europe might look like:

  • Transport: Improved and subsidised rail, an expansion of cycle lanes, roads and highways with regular electric charging points, planes and ships using sustainable fuels, as well as electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
  • Electricity: Accelerated investment in renewables, especially offshore wind, tidal energy, and other power sources that would take advantage of the bloc’s 68,000-km coastline. Hydrogen also to play key role in replacing natural gas.
  • Renovation Wave: Mass renovation of existing residential, commercial, and public buildings to ensure all existing buildings are zero emission by 2050.
  • Forests: Improving the quality and quantity of forests as well as planting 3 billion trees by the end of the decade
  • Farms: Cutting pesticides and reducing antibiotics use for farmed animals by 50 percent.  Also boosting organic farming and stopping and reversing decline in bees.
  • Seas & Oceans: Decarbonizing marine transport, reducing microplastic pollution, reversing biodiversity loss, improving ship recycling, and incentivizing fishers to collect litter and fishing gear lost at sea.
  • Research:Supporting various green projects including hydrogen fuel and forest fires prevention.

Let’s so this vision can become a reality and Europe can set a positive example for the world.


At Natural World Fund, we are passionate about stopping the decline in our wildlife.

The declines in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their declines towards extinction.

When you help to restore a patch of degraded land through rewilding to forests, meadows, or wetlands, you have a massive impact on the biodiversity at a local level. You give animals a home and food that they otherwise would not have had, and it has a positive snowball effect for the food chain.

We are convinced that this is much better for the UK than growing lots of fast-growing coniferous trees, solely to remove carbon, that don’t actually help our animals to thrive.

This is why we stand for restoring nature in the UK through responsible rewilding. For us, it is the right thing to do. Let’s do what’s right for nature!

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